The International Journal of INCLUSIVE DEMOCRACY, Vol. 11, Nos. 1/2 (Winter-Summer 2015)
Left mythology and neoliberal globalization: Syriza and Podemos*
Abstract: The aim of this article is to show why any exit from the present economic and social catastrophe in Greece and of a similar, although smaller in scale, economic crisis in Spain is impossible, unless both countries break with the New World Order of neoliberal globalization, as expressed in the European space by the EU and the Eurozone. The Left in both countries, as expressed by the rising to power Syriza in Greece and Podemos in Spain, is totally inadequate in leading the victims of globalization in these countries (the vast majority of the population) onto a path to regain the minimal economic and national sovereignty needed, as they do not even question the EU, leaving the nationalist anti-EU Right to attract its traditional supporters in the working class. The need, therefore, for Popular Fronts “from below” aiming at National and Social Liberation is imperative.
The forthcoming Greek elections on January 25th (to be followed later in the year by the Spanish elections) gave rise to a new mythology, particularly among the reformist Left, which is promoted, directly or indirectly, by the media of the Transnational Elite (i.e. mainly of the elites based in the G7 countries that control the New World Order of neoliberal globalization). According to this mythology, we are on the verge of a historical change in Europe and beyond, following the outcome of these elections that are expected to be won by Syriza in Greece and Podemos in Spain. The former is a late offspring of Eurocommunism, which has been long dead in the rest of Europe, and the latter has emerged in the aftermath of the “movement” of Indignados against corruption etc., which has also long disappeared everywhere without a trace. In fact, many of the leading members of the Greek indignados movement, who were invited repeatedly in the Athens central square to promote the pro-EU line, are today candidates of Syriza and possible Government members after the elections!
As I will try to show, in fact, both these two parties, given their commitment to the EU and the Euro, simply exploit the desperation of the victims of the New World Order of neoliberal globalization in these two countries, as there is no possibility whatsoever that they will take any of the radical steps required to really alleviate the appalling economic condition of the majority of the population in both countries, and particularly in Greece, within the constraints imposed by the EU and the constitutional Treaties that institutionalized neoliberal globalization at the European level. At most, if they successfully renegotiate the present lending agreement with the TE (represented by the “Troika,” i.e. the EU, IMF and the ECB), there would be some debt relief (in terms of a new “haircut” and/or an extension of the terms of the bailout) and consequently a mild relaxation of the present lethal austerity policies. Yet, all major “reforms” agreed with the Troika, which imposed a complete opening and liberalization of markets for commodities, capital and labor, will not be affected at all. In fact, they may be further expanded, as even the “doves” within the TE make clear.
However, as it was just revealed, this is exactly the plan of the elites in case Syriza wins the elections but not with enough votes to claim a simple majority in Greece’s 300-seat parliament ― the most likely outcome of the elections. In that case, Syriza will have to form a coalition, or at least rely on the “vote of tolerance” of other parties. And the elites have already prepared their plan for this scenario. Less than a year ago they created a media-party led by a TV persona (“The River”―To potami, that was hugely promoted by the Greek elites-controlled media), which effectively had no political program at all, apart from some fashionable generalities on fighting corruption, etc. This party easily attracted several ambitious technocrats, thirsty for political and social recognition, in full knowledge that the party, enjoying the full support of the elites, would be a good vehicle for meeting their own personal ambitions. No wonder this party and its leader are now expected to be the “kingmaker” of next Sunday’s elections, who suddenly even “discovered” a concrete program that by sheer “coincidence” happens to meet all the demands of the TE, as expressed by the doves in it that I mentioned above. Here is how The Times described the kingmaker’s plans:
He has backed an action plan that would ease austerity, create jobs, secure minimum wages and re-negotiate a debt relief plan with Greece’s creditors. However, crucially, it would also mean that “Greece fulfil its obligations” toward its EU partners and the International Monetary Fund and “remain anchored in the eurozone,” Mr Theodorakis said. “That’s our make-or-break term for any government coalition deal.”
Therefore, the rise to power of these parties far from being, (as Tsipras, the leader of the Greek Syriza party stressed to the delight of the world liberal “Left”), “a ‘historic opportunity’ for a left alternative to the current capitalist ‘European model’,” in my opinion, will simply lead to the end of the Left in Southern Europe. On this, the Mediterranean Left will simply follow belatedly the fate of the Left in the “North” (Northern Europe, North America etc.) which is already dead and buried, mainly as a result of the fact that it has been integrated into the NWO of neoliberal globalization, at least since the late ‘90s. That is, since the time when, instead of supporting the movement against globalization that was developing at the time, it systematically tried and eventually managed to emasculate it, from an antisystemic into a reformist movement ― a fact that inevitably led to its demise, to the great delight of Transnational Corporations! No wonder, today, it is the nationalist (and Islamophobic) Right in the North that has raised the flag of anti-globalization, attracting in the process the traditional supporters of the Left in the working class, while, at the same time, the Eurasian Union in Russia and several other ex soviet countries attracts the patriotic movements in these countries that are fighting for economic and national sovereignty, which is being phased out in the NWO.
In other words, the reason why both Syriza and Podemos will eventually fail has to do with the fundamentally contradictory nature of these parties and their programs. This, assuming of course that they win the elections with absolute Parliamentary majorities, so that they will not be able to blame afterwards for their failure the compromises they had to make in any coalition governments. This is particularly the case in Greece where the Greek Communist Party, to its credit, has followed a consistent anti-EU and anti-NATO line, since Greece’s entry into the EU in 1981, and has rejected in advance any coalition of the Left. Yet, this party is not blameless for the Greek catastrophe since it effectively prevented the creation of a Popular Front for National and Social Liberation and decided instead to wait for a socialist revolution in order to achieve the exit of Greece from this catastrophe, presumably some time in the next millennium! That is, a Front which would radically change the economic and geopolitical orientations of Greece and would involve a program of immediate exit from the EU (and consequently the Eurozone) as well as a break with the NWO and its institutions. Such a break would be immensely facilitated if Greece were to join the Eurasian Union, provided that the latter breaks from the NWO and becomes a political and economic union of sovereign nations, as it was originally designed. In fact, Russia has already promised new relations with Greece if it leaves the EU. Thus, as the Russian Minister of Agriculture Nikolai Fyodorov told a news conference in Berlin, “if Greece has to leave the European Union, we will build our own relations with it.” To my mind, this is the only way in which both Greece and Spain and later on other countries in the EU periphery like Portugal and Cyprus could achieve their economic and national sovereignty, which is the necessary condition for self-reliance. In other words, this is the only way in which their economic structures could be restructured in a way that will meet the needs of their own peoples, socially determined, rather than the needs of a world market controlled by the TNCs.
The fundamental contradiction of reformist parties like Syriza and Podemos arises from the fact that they promise to challenge the austerity policies imposed by the TEs in association with the local elites, without questioning in the slightest their countries’ participation in the EU and, of course, the Eurozone. However, the austerity policies are not some sort of “bad” policies implemented by some baddies (neoliberal politicians, economists and so on) but, instead, the necessary policies imposed on countries integrated into the NWO by neoliberal globalization, which, as I showed in the past, is a systemic phenomenon and not a conspiracy or just a “bad” policy. Even less so, neoliberal globalization is just an ideology, as pseudo-Marxists within the degenerate “Left” maintain, who in fact function as the ideologues of it and are consequently promoted appropriately by the mass media of the “progressive” part of the TE (Guardian e.tc.) and could well be members of a Syriza government. In fact, the globalization of the capitalist market economy is founded on the mass expansion of Transnational Corporations (TNCs) and, as such, can only be neoliberal. In this sense, neoliberalism represents not just a policy change, or a sinister dogma, as most of the Left asserts today, but a structural change marking the shift to a new form of modernity that was necessary for the efficient functioning of TNCs.
Therefore, any attempt to change the neoliberal orientation of the EU “from within,” as these two parties pledge, is doomed to failure even at the political level, apart from the fact that it would be non feasible at the economic level, as long as the EU is integrated into the NWO and its institutions (WTO, IMF, World Bank etc.). This is because the EU’s political structure is dominated by a solid neoliberal/social liberal political bloc that has been formed within the EU by, on the one hand, the conservative and social-liberal parties (the ex social democratic parties) of the European North (Germany, Benelux and Scandinavian countries) ― where the middle classes that have benefited from globalization are politically dominant ― and, on the other, the ultra conservative and pro-Western “new” (former soviet bloc) members (Baltic countries, Poland etc.). This block dominates the political and economic agenda of the EU and will do so for any foreseeable future, despite the pipe dreams of Syriza and Podemos to create a new progressive Europe “from within.”
In fact, the unforgettable war criminal and former US secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld had rightly predicted long ago the role that the new EU members from Eastern Europe were going to play within EU, as client states of the Transnational Elite (TE) running the NWO. At that time, France and Germany were still run by nationalists and social democrats respectively and, as Rumsfeld pointed out, were a “problem” within the TE in opposing the Iraq invasion. This problem has effectively been sorted out by now, with the complete conversion of both countries into full supporters of all criminal wars of the TE, with France in particular, having been converted, since the Sarkozy era, into one of its most aggressive members. This is true even today, despite the fact that in the meantime the unforgettable war criminal Sarkozy was succeeded by the “socialist” Hollande, who now attempts to cover his social-liberal economic policies under the French flag and the national motto originated in the French Revolution Liberté, fraternité, égalité (although the latter, i.e. equality is, as a rule, forgotten today by the French elites ― unless they talk about sexual relations!).
So, despite all their rhetoric neither Podemos nor Syriza will ever be able to implement strict social controls on markets, which is exactly the necessary precondition for Spain and Greece to achieve economic and national sovereignty, through a program that will maximize economic self-reliance, which does not of course mean autarchy, not even self-sufficiency as I explained in the past. At most, what these parties can achieve, even if they fully implement their program is a kind of growth like the present one in Britain, where open mass unemployment has simply been replaced with disguised unemployment and frozen wages, as well as rising poverty and malnourishment. However, it is a very big “if” whether they can implement even the reformist policies they pledge, since the TE and the EU elite together with the local elites, have every means possible to impose their will in case they deviate significantly from the prescribed policies, even resorting if necessary to a cut of liquidity through various direct or indirect mechanisms available to them. On the other hand, Podemos and Syriza cannot even appeal to their own voters in the event that a real conflict situation develops, as most of them are in fact EU supporters! This is the inevitable outcome of the fact that these parties never even thought to help the development of a popular movement conscious of the radical measures needed and the corresponding difficulties that would have to be met at the initial stage. Instead, they did everything they could to disorient them and persuade them that solutions are possible even within the EU! Under such conditions, in case of a real conflict with the elites, it would have been too easy for them simply to break these parties and their parliamentary majorities and impose their will, as they have all the powers (economic, political, media and so on) to achieve such a task. Therefore, in spite of the myths that these elites and the media controlled by them promote, in order to terrorize the Greek and Spanish electorates about a possible Euro crisis or even a major world economic crisis in case they vote for Syriza today or Podemos tomorrow, there is not the slightest risk of any uncontrolled development in case these parties take over, as in fact the TE’s organs recognize, when they do not function as instruments of its black propaganda.
The alternative to self-reliance is, in fact, the present austerity policies, which are imposed by the European North all over the EU, in order to sort out the competiveness problem they face with respect to their competitors in the Far East or USA, with the depressed real wages and the miserable working conditions. However, the causes of the competiveness problem in peripheral countries of the South are very different from those involved in the countries of the advanced center in the North. Thus, low competitiveness in peripheral countries is a development problem, which cannot be sorted out without the building of a new productive base that presupposes a process of self-reliant development. On the other hand, low competitiveness in advanced countries, which have already built a competitive economy with high productivity, is indeed a matter of relative prices, which can be sorted out by squeezing wages and incomes (through austerity policies), so that their commodities become as competitive as those made in China and India, towards which TNCs emigrate. All this implies that even if a future Left government in Greece decides a Grexit from the Euro (staying in the EU), the reintroduction and significant devaluation of a reintroduced drachma would only temporarily bring in some positive results ― unless such policies are accompanied by a parallel radical restructuring of the productive structure. But such a restructure cannot of course be left to the decisions of profit-maximizing investors and the TNCs and has to be based instead on social decisions, a process which is impossible for any country integrated into the NWO where such crucial decisions are left to the market forces.
Therefore, Left approaches to the contrary are not only wrong, but also completely disorienting, as they ignore the fact that the current devastating crisis in peripheral EU countries is due to structural reasons having everything to do with the uneven capitalist development process, which is further exacerbated in the era of neoliberal globalization and the consequent policies implemented by the EU, and very little to do with the broader financial crisis, and “financialization” austerity policies, or the debt itself and the ways to deal with it. In other words, austerity policies are a consequence and not the cause of the present devastating crisis. The solution, therefore, to the “problem” is not just the redistribution of income at the expense of profits and in favor of wages, as supporters of a pseudo-“Marxist” kind of analysis assume. Inequality is anyway nothing new but an inherent characteristic of the capitalist system. Unsurprisingly, despite growing world inequality during the era of neoliberal globalization, the system has enjoyed a sustained period of expansion, with world GDP rising at an average 2.9% in the 1990s and 3.2% in the period up to the beginning of the latest financial crisis (2000-08). Furthermore, the only case that a systematic redistribution of income against the rich took place in a capitalist system was when the tax burden was shifted to the rich during the social democratic period (approx. 1945-1975). However, this kind of redistribution is simply not feasible anymore in the NWO of Neoliberal Globalization, as TNCs can easily move to tax havens like Ireland, India, etc. leaving massive unemployment and poverty behind them.
In conclusion, only if a country broke away from the NWO and pursued a policy of self-reliance, could it retrieve the necessary degree of economic and therefore national sovereignty, so that it is the people who will be determining the economic process (i.e. which economic and social needs are met and how), instead of leaving these life-and-death issues to ‘market forces’ and the Social Darwinism these forces inevitably imply. This, would mean for a country like Greece, as I mentioned above, the need for the creation “from below” of a Popular Front for Social and National Liberation (instead of relying on the professional politicians of the “Left” or of the Right), which will formulate a program for the radical changes needed to achieve the short term aim of restoring full social control on all markets, unilaterally cancelling the Debt and all related legislation imposed by the Troika, as well as a unilateral exit from the EU. Although socialization of the banking system and of the de-nationalized industries, particularly those covering basic needs (energy, water, transport, communication, etc.) will be necessary even at this early stage, yet, the medium-term aim will have to be economic self-reliance, so that the basic needs of all citizens are met through the rebuilding of the economic structure according to social needs rather than according to market demand. The inevitable failure of the reformist Left if it is elected into power will hopefully lead the victims of globalization to realize that only the struggle to build such a Popular Front from below can really open the way for the radical changes needed to achieve a permanent exit from the present economic and social catastrophe.
* This article is based on ch. 5 of the new book by the author entitled The New World Order in Action: Integrating Eastern Europe and the Middle East (to be published shortly by Progressive Press). It was edited by Jonathan Rutherford.
It was also published in Pravda.ru on 19/01/2015 under the title "Greece decides a Grexit from the Euro" which was not the original title chosen by the author, which is the same title as here.
 See for the Greek version of indignados, Takis Fotopoulos, “Greece: The myth of the revival of classical democracy in Athens”, The International Journal of Inclusive Democracy, Vol. 7, No. 1 (Winter-Spring 2011).
 Ben McLannahan and Robin Harding, “Sapin conciliatory on post election debt talks with Greece,” Financial Times (18/01/2015).
 Anthee Carasavva, “Europe must ease our pain, insists Greek kingmaker,” The Times (19/01/2015).
 Leo Panitch, “Europe’s left has seen how capitalism can bite back,” The Guardian (13/01/2014).
 See Takis Fotopoulos, “Globalisation, the reformist Left and the Anti-Globalisation ‘Movement’,” Democracy & Nature, vol.7, no.2 (July 2001), pp.233-280.
 See e.g. Francis Elliott et al. ‘Working class prefers Ukip to Labour,” The Times (25/11/2014).
 The New World Order in Action: Integrating Eastern Europe and the Middle East, (published shortly by Progressive Press), Part III.
 See Takis Fotopoulos, “Neoliberal Globalization and the need for popular fronts for national and social liberation”, The International Journal of Inclusive Democracy, Vol. 9, No. 1/2 (2013), (under publication).
 Alexandros Vlachos, “Russia may lift food import ban from Greece if it quits EU - Russian agriculture minister”, ТАСС/EPA (Tass) (16/01/2015).
 See e.g. “The myths about the New World Order,” Pravda.ru (15/12/2014).
 See e.g. Costas Lapavitsas, “The era of financialization”, Dollars & Sense (15/4/2014).
 See e.g. the TE promoted best seller The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein (Penguin, 2008).
 “Outrage at 'old Europe' remarks,” BBC NEWS (23/1/2003).
 “Oil, economic warfare and self-reliance,” Pravda.ru (27/10/2014).
 See “Millions of impoverished Britons malnourished – report”, RT (28/12/2014), and “Low-paid Britons now number five million, think tank concludes”, BBC News (26/10/2014).
 See e.g. Douglas J. Ellott, “Will the Greek Election Ultimately Break the Euro?,” Brookings Institute; Phillip Inman Anne Penketh, “Fears of Greek exit help send euro to nine-year low against the dollar,” The Guardian (06/01/2015).
 Takis Fotopoulos, “The myths about the economic crisis, the reformist Left and economic democracy”, The International Journal of INCLUSIVE DEMOCRACY, Vol. 4, No. 4 (October 2008).
 See e.g. the recent book by two members of the SYRIZA leadership, one of them a member of the previous Greek Parliament representing the party and possibly a member of a SYRIZA government), Euclid Tsakalotos and Christos Laskos, Crucible of Resistance: Greece, the Eurozone and the World Economic Crisis (Pluto Press, Sept. 2013).
 World Bank, World Development Indicators 2010, Table 4.1.
Source : http://www.inclusivedemocracy.org/journal/vol11/vol11_no1_Left_mythology_and_neoliberal_globalization_Syriza_and_Podemos.html